(March 1951 to October 1977)
The story of African-American mediators employed by FMCS covers the 30-year period between 1947 and 1977. Below are names, hiring dates, photos and bios of 23 African-Americans hired by FMCS between 1947 and 1977. 1950 was the first class of new mediators hired since the creation of FMCS in 1947. During its first 30 years, FMCS hired 338 mediators in small groups as needed. Of those, 6.80% were African-Americans.
|Name||Hire Date||Duty Station||Education||Notes|
|George H. Fowler||Mar-51||NYC||LLB||Resigned 12-31-58|
|George V. Byrnes||May-59||NYC||BA.||NLRB – 11 years|
|Bill H. Lattimore||Oct-61||Detroit|
|Dick D. Williams||Oct-63||Chicago||BS.||RD & Dept Nat. Dir.|
|Bill Abner||Jul-64||D.C.||LLB||Sp. Asst to Nat. Dir.|
|Frank Allen||Oct-66||San Fran||LR Courses|
|Clarence Washington||Oct-66||San Fran||LR Courses|
|Hal Davis, intern||Feb-68||Philadelphia/DC||BA.||2 years law school|
|Charlie Riley||Jun-68||St.Louis/DC||BA, MA.||Tech coordinator|
|Jim Williams||Nov-70||Baltimore||LR Courses|
|Larry Berry||May-71||Atlanta/Detroit||LR Courses|
|Hez Brown||Oct-72||NYC||Com. College|
|Cleveland Fisher||Oct-73||LA||LR Courses|
|Tom Washington||Jun-74||Philadelphia||LR Courses|
|Julie Greer, intern*||Jan-75||Detroit ||LR Courses|
|Bufford Thompson||Oct-75||Kansas City |
|James Authur||Nov-76||Boston||Trade School|
|Wesley Jennings||Jan-77||Baltimore/Chicago ||BA|
|Hubert Robinson||Sep-77||NYC||BS, MA Candidate|
|Jerry Allen||Sep-77||San Fran ||AA IR. ||Son of Frank Allen|
|Fran Dunham*||Sep-77||Philadelphia/NJ ||BA|
|Cliff Suggs||Oct-77||Buffalo||2 years in college – no degree|
FMCS may not have been a leader in offering African-Americans equal employment opportunity, but to be effective FMCS believed it needed to provide mediators who would be acceptable to labor and management. FMCS believed that mediators who lacked acceptability could not be effective and supportive of the FMCS mission. So the FMCS hiring decisions were strongly influenced by the racial attitudes of labor and management.
A note: Bill Abner, as Special Assistant to the Director, was able to recruit four African-Americans mediators: Allen, Washington, Davis and Riley.
 This paper relied on oral histories I’ve conducted, my acquaintances with all of these mediators except George Fowler, bio books reference in footnote 3, and Friends of FMCS History collection.
 Based on records in the Friends collection.
 In the early 1980s, the unofficial practice of maintaining bio books on all mediators with hire dates, bio info, work station, and photos was ended, based on a determination that they were inappropriate personnel record.
 In the years after 1977, only FMCS has hiring data on mediators. Unfortunately, FMCS did not provide any for this paper, which likely would have shown a more inclusive hiring practice.
 Certainly, the same rational has been used by employers whose employees deal directly with the public.
 See mediationhistory.org – post on Blog, titled: Willoughby (Bill) Abner.